New Zealand Semester


The New Zealand semester program focuses on environmental studies from an interdisciplinary perspective with courses in Environmental and Cultural Issues of New Zealand, an internship experience, and a faculty seminar. While the emphasis will be on environmental studies, the program is intentionally broad and interdisciplinary such that it is open to any student interested in examining the relationships between humans and our natural world from the perspectives of the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and the arts.

Academic coursework will be both traditional in the form of classes, lectures, and assigned readings as well as experiential through immersive field trips, group discussions, journaling, and hands-on project-based learning.

At the beginning of the program, students will arrive in Whanganui on the North Island for an orientation period at the Quaker Settlement. Following the orientation period, students will be placed with homestay families in the town of Whanganui and begin to attend classes and internships.

An extended excursion is planned to the South Island to experience a tramping component in Fiordland National Park, a visit to the wild “West Coast” where students will stay in an eco-lodge while learning about New Zealand’s struggle to generate “clean and green” energy, and travel to Kaikoura—a world renowned marine reserve home to an incredible diversity of wildlife as well as a model for sustainable development. Finally, students will have a chance to spend time in Christchurch—learning about the challenges of rebuilding after the devastating 2010-11 earthquakes.


Students accepted into the program are required to participate in the orientation sessions during spring semester. These sessions are designed to prepare the student for the cross-cultural experience, and include passport and travel information, readings, films, lectures, and discussions with former participants. Students receive 1 semester hour for successful completion of the orientation.

The courses will explore the variety of ways environmental issues are variously constructed and contested within both formal curriculum (schooling) and informal curriculum (culture). Students receive 18 semester hours of credit for completing the following courses:

  • Environmental Issues of New Zealand (5 hrs): a previous course in Biology or Geology is recommended. 
  • Faculty Seminar (5 hrs): each year, the principle faculty member leading the semester will select a topic of interest to be taught in a seminar format on the program. 
  • Cultures of New Zealand (5 hrs)
  • Field Study Seminar (3 hrs)

Academic Programs



The cost of the program is equivalent to one semester of on-campus tuition, room, board and fees. Program charges cover academic and educational costs, room, board, cultural events, and required group excursions.

A $350 deposit is required after acceptance into the program to reserve your spot. This deposit is part of the total fee. Students on financial aid are eligible to apply their aid to one off-campus program.

Additional Cost

Program charges do not include roundtrip transportation, passport and visa fees, health costs, personal expenses, and costs incurred during independent travel periods.


Students are responsible for arranging their own flights.


Undergraduates in good standing with the college may apply. Majors from all disciplines are welcome. There are no pre-requisites but Eco-Bio or a similar introductory environmental course is strongly suggested.



Students and faculty share stories and photos about the New Zealand experience.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admissions